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About Buck

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  1. Interesting. I still didn't get pictures taken. Hopefully this weekend, if I get the time.
  2. I always thought the main problem with mail was that while it blocked cuts and slashes, and might have helped against thrusts, it didn't do much to dissipate kinetic energy. As far as progress goes, I got the "skirt" put on. I had to add one small expansion at the base of the spine so it would allow me to move my legs. Before that, I felt like a supermodel in a miniskirt--albeit a lot shorter, heavier, and homelier. Once I put the expansion in it fit much better. Still a bit baggy in the armpits, but I can't figure out how to tighten it up without making it too small to get over my shoulders. I'll try to get pictures this weekend. I also picked up two more rolls of wire (which I don't think I'll need all of) because it was on sale. Living on a farm, I'm sure I'll find something that needs fixing with it...
  3. I haven't done that yet. When this is finished, I plan on working out in it until I can survive a two hour karate workout. Then I'll wear it to class and see what happens. Once I get there, I know a lot of the kids (our class is mostly 15-7 at the moment) will want to try it on. I already challenged them once. If they did 20 burpees, I'd do 10 in armor. Numbers 8-10 were pretty sloppy, but I got them done. It definitely takes conditioning to wear it. I discovered the Downward Dog Shimmy out of desperation. Mostly when I got it halfway over my head and couldn't get it off any more, or see what I was doing, or move my arms. I was watching Russel Crowe's rendition of Robin Hood last week and I noticed he did the same thing when removing his mail. (Of course he got Maid Marian to help, why my wife just looked at me and laughed) Was this the official, historic way of removing mail?
  4. Well, he's 11 at the moment, so I don't know if he could move in 30 lbs of armor. We'll see what he thinks. I think he's looking at the conical helm. I don't know. I have a friend an hour away who is an armorer, and I'd turn that to him. Lumberyards and fence supply places I can find. Cold Steel makes good-quality, but they are a little pricey for me. I have a Hanwei Practical Plus Katana, and a Windlass Steelcrafts 15th Century Longsword I bought second hand. I like them both. On my suit, I got the tapers put in. Not sure if I took the waist in too much, and it still seems baggy under the arms, even though I don't see where I could take any more out. I definitely need to put the expansions in below the waist now. And put the bottom back on. I'll try to get pictures this next week.
  5. Ah, Aspect Ratio! Okay. Still learning the terminology. My oldest has also watched me, and wants to make a a Norman-style suit. Complete with helmet, kite shield, and sword. He's been to kultofathena.com and picked out the sword he wants. His shield is in the front room awaiting a cloth covering and rope rim before it gets painted (leather or rawhide will go over the rope). I know nothing about Norman armor other than it seemed long (at least in the Bayeux Tapestry). Right now, he's about 5' 3", and 90+ pounds. And growing. Are there any tutorials or hints out there for making Norman mail? I'm fairly certain he'll just go with the 4-in-1 pattern. Is it similar to what I've done with the haubergeon, just longer? I've seen some illustrations (drawings, soooo take it with a grain of salt, or maybe the whole salt shaker) that made their armor look like mail robes more than anything else. For some reason that doesn't seem right. I plan on helping him after I finish mine. The wire I've been using doesn't work well for larger rings, either. It's just too thin. So we're open to suggestions on wire gauge and ring size, too.
  6. Well, I've almost gotten the last taper put in. I bought two more rolls of wire yesterday because they were on sale. I'm thinking I may use some wire from my wire feed welder to put some trim around the edges. It's coppery-colored, and stiffer than the tie wire. Smaller diameter, too, and stiffer. Mostly, I'll use it because it's not what I like to weld with and I want to get rid of it. What is AR? The other project I've been working on, besides the shield, is to learn Fusion 360 for work. it's a CAD program, and my project of choice was plates for tatami-do armor. When I get the design down, I'll have them printed in carbon fiber and covered with Cerakote. Obviously not historically accurate, but following video tutorials to make pipe fittings and electrical conduits is not as much fun. The plates are 1/16" thick The lacing holes around the edges are 1/16", and the center holes are 1/8". Then I went in and rounded all the edges off to prevent wear and tear on the lacing. I haven't decided on the color yet. The shop I use for cerakoting can do just about anything. Here's links with pictures of some of their work: https://www.huxguns.com/ https://goidaho.com/hux-customs-one-kind-firearm-coatings/ https://www.facebook.com/huxcustomcoating/ These are the same guys that did my karambit. Definitely worth the cost, and when I went to pay, they knocked 5.00 off the quoted price. Today my projects involve lacquering the viking shield, finishing the last taper in the hauberk, and then finding out where I went wrong.
  7. I use it because it's 4.00 a roll at Home Despot. And this mail will be mostly for show. But I do plan on putting it through some tests when I'm done (and then repairing it.. Why would riveted mail come out weighing less? I realize my armor's weight might be more because of the small ring size=dense weave factor (I think it's up to about 30 lbs right now) For storage, I have it rolled up in an couple of old towels when it's not spread out. The towels have absorbed enough oil that they keep it fairly protected, and they keep the oil from getting on the house, which keeps me fairly protected from the wrath of the wife. The rings I keep in a couple of cookie tins--one for open rings, one for closed. and my rings, springs, cutters, and pliers are kept in a shoebox. That way I can cut rings during road trips. Or sit in the library when I'm stuck in town all day.
  8. I'm using "tie wire." "Baling wire" if you grew up on a ranch. In construction, it's used to tie rebar together before concrete is poured over it. In agriculture, hay bales used to be tied with it. And in agriculture, it became a fix-all, a lot like duct tape. It's known as "black iron," really soft. I use a pair of side cutters to crimp it, then break the links off with pliers. It gives them a flatter (and less scratchy) edge that way. It's just soooooo sloooooowwww. And after a few hours, your arms and hands get sore. Still working on getting the side contractions in. I took yesterday off and painted the big viking shield. Got a few spots to touch up, and some lacquer to put on, but it's looking good.
  9. I looked at it last night. Those are pretty good instructions. Especially for Instructables! When I was growing, we made our own chaps and spur straps, and as a knifemaker, I make some pretty basic sheaths. This would be an interesting project. I need to find a local source for leather, as well, since these shields are getting to the strappy stage.
  10. Well, these are my first attempts. All made from plywood (which is basically what the Romans did, although I find a scutum REALLY uncomfortable to hold), covered with cotton cloth instead of linen (because I had an old bedsheet handy), and then lacquered before painting. Like the big viking shield, they'll get a rope rim covered in rawhide. I'll do some research into the leather targe and see what I can find.
  11. I have a variable speed dremel, but I hadn't thought about the heat on the blade. I've also tried spreading my rings before I cut them with a dremel. It was easier to pull the spring apart and then cut the rings. I'll check out TRL's cutting blades. It may have to wait a bit, since I just dropped 35.00 on shield parts (bolts, nuts, rope, glue) this week. The pictures you have on your site of the jig are great! I have the front and rear contractions put in so far, and I can definitely feel a difference when I try the hauberk on. Hopefully I'll get the sides done this weekend, and see how good of a job I did. That and working on half a dozen shields has been my projects all week.
  12. I made my contractions with 4 rows of a certain length, then drop a ring. Four rows, drop a ring. I ended up with a 5-in-1, 2 4-in-ones, and another 5-in one. No pictures yet, but it looks good, and I can see a slight difference in the waistline already. My first attempt used a 4-inch disk grinder, but 1) The disk blade was too thick. and 2) Rings ricocheted all over my shop. That was 6 months ago, and I'm still finding them in odd corners. Is there anything special about the cutting blade you use? Do they make one for a dremel? Everything else I can figure out, but the cutting wheel has me stumped.
  13. Is that your jig? Do you have any pictures or tutorials on how it's made? And what sort of machine and cutting wheel does it use?
  14. So I've begun attaching the first contraction. When I work my way down the sides, I keep running into instances where it seems like I should be putting five rings though one rather than four. Am I doing something wrong? I'll try to get clear pictures this weekend.
  15. The tie wire I use comes in a 3 pound spool. It generally takes me about an hour or two to wind it all into springs, and then forever to cut it. I completely understand where you're coming from. Does anyone know of a ring cutting jig I could easily make?